Rory McIlroy hints his season could be over due to ongoing rib problem

“As I said, I have a good bit of time to get healthy. As I said, the next big thing is April and that’s really what my focus will be on from now until then.”

McIlroy is clearly in a dilemma. As well as the grand finale to the US Tour, there is the Race To Dubai on the European Tour, the order of merit chase which he has won three times in the last five years. He could take two months off and return in plenty of time for his home circuit’s run-in, but he is down in 10th, with little hope of victory, and after his 73 on Saturday, he did sign off by saying: “Looking forward to 2018.” It must be highly tempting to take a protracted break.

“The more I play, it’s just not allowing that time to heal 100 per cent,” McIlroy said. “An injury like this, it’s eight full weeks of rest before you start to rehab it and then you go again. I just haven’t it allowed it the time to fully heal If I want to challenge on a more consistent basis, I need to get 100 per cent healthy.”

Off the course, it has been a wonderful year. McIlroy married Erica in April and the very next month signed a 10-year equipment deal with TaylorMade estimated to be worth $100m.

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